1 billion people use Instagram every month.
This number has been on the rise in recent years. In fact, there could be as many as 1.2 billion monthly active Instagram users by the end of 2019!
Instagram’s massive market makes it an ideal place for advertisers to work their magic.
The social media platform enables professionals and business owners to easily expand their brand reach through targeted marketing.
Effective marketing on Instagram goes beyond running a few paid ads every now and then, however. To harness the potential of this platform, it’s important to develop a comprehensive strategy.
It’s also important to keep the following tips in mind. Keep reading for more insight!
1. Know Who You’re Targeting
This is an essential step for any marketing strategy: you have to know who your audience is. But this is particularly important when it comes to online marketing campaigns, including social media and even Amazon. Learn more here.
Keep in mind that most users on Instagram are young millennials. In fact, in the U.S. alone, half of Instagram’s user base consists of people between ages 18 and 29.
You’re set up for success if your current audience fits in this age range!
But if you’re catering to other age ranges, such as 30-45-year-olds, don’t worry. You can still use this platform to enjoy valuable brand reach. It just may be helpful to leverage your efforts with other social platforms that cater to older demographics, such as Facebook or Twitter.
All that being said, figure out who you are exactly trying to reach and tailor your efforts accordingly. Besides age, what makes your target customer tick? What are their needs and wants? What is likely to increase their user engagement?
You can use Instagram insights to learn more about your target audience and how they’re responding to your content. If you set up a business profile on Instagram, you automatically get insights into post and story performance.
These insights include reach, impressions, website clicks, saved posts, and video views. You can also see where your followers are based, how old they are, and even what their gender is.
2. Figure Out What Your Audience is Saying
Knowing your audience is one thing. Figuring out what they’re saying about your brand or industry is another.
Listen in on what your target market is saying by doing some qualified Instagram research. Figure out what hashtags your ideal customer is using, for example. Or make note of what content is proving popular in your specific niche.
When it comes to Instagram marketing, it’s vital to not come across as too sales-y. Doing so can be an immediate turn-off, especially if you are already running some paid Instagram ads.
Instagram users are more interested in conversing with brands. That’s what makes the platform so compelling for business owners, after all. It gives companies a chance to be personal and available!
Show your audience you’re listening and willing to chat by enabling in-app messaging. With messaging enabled, your target clients can ask direct questions about products–and you get to respond!
Share other people’s content on Instagram. Don’t just share for the sake of sharing. Seek out posts that you genuinely admire, especially if it resonates with your brand.
When you re-post customers’ content, this works wonders for your brand image. It makes you come across as more human. It can also be simply flattering!
3. Post at the Right Time
It’s important for marketers to stay active on Instagram by posting and sharing regular content. But when should you be posting new content?
Most people are active on Instagram between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your target audience, however, is most active during this time.
You’ll have to do a little more research to figure out when your target audience is scrolling, and try to post content during that time. For now, a safe bet is to post during off-hours, such as lunch breaks (between noon and 3 PM) and evenings (5 PM – 8 PM).
Middle of the week posting can also be better than weekend posting. The bulk of your content should thus be surfacing in feeds between Tuesday and Thursday.
You can also use Instagram insights to assess the “right time” for posting. Note where you’re seeing the most user engagement, and when.
4. Use the Right Hashtags
Hashtags are the heart of Instagram. They’re how users find each other, and using the right ones can make your content more visible. In short, you’ve got to use them if you want people to see your stuff!
How do you know which hashtags to use, though? What’s the secret sauce?
First things first, don’t overdo it. Stacking 50 hashtags onto an image caption isn’t likely to help you. Your hashtags should be targeted and relevant to what you’re posting.
Second, seek out niche hashtags for your given industry. You can do this by researching on your own within Instagram or by using a tool like Postplanner. You can also pay attention to the hashtags your ardent followers are using.
Last, use branded hashtags. These are tags that incorporate your actual brand. Using them can help you track user engagement. They can also be the foundation for a targeted campaign.
5. Always Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Posting compelling, high-quality content is vital. Users are more likely to respond to engaging content, especially if it is unique and professional.
But they’ll be even more likely to respond if you include a call to action (CTA). This is a phrase of some kind that compels your users to do something. That “something” could be visiting your website, commenting, liking, or entering a contest (just to name a few).
When you get your followers to act, you automatically increase engagement with your brand. And higher brand engagement means greater odds of conversion, whatever that looks like you to.
Final Thoughts: Marketing on Instagram
Effective marketing on Instagram can help you develop a solid foundation of followers. It can also be valuable for personalizing and humanizing your brand.
Plus, let’s not forget the ultimate goal: conversions! If you keep these Instagram marketing tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to generating higher sales.